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Cursor for enhanced interaction with user interface controls

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20130042208 patent thumbnailZoom

Cursor for enhanced interaction with user interface controls


A method for enhanced cursor interaction with a user interface (UI) control, including: detecting a hover event by a cursor within a hot spot region of the UI control within a user interface, wherein the user interface is displayed on a display device; initiating a handle mode for the cursor in response to detecting the hover event; and extending the hot spot region beyond an initial boundary in response to initiating the handle mode.
Related Terms: User Interface Cursor Hot Spot

Browse recent International Business Machines Coporation patents - Armonk, NY, US
USPTO Applicaton #: #20130042208 - Class: 715862 (USPTO) - 02/14/13 - Class 715 
Data Processing: Presentation Processing Of Document, Operator Interface Processing, And Screen Saver Display Processing > Operator Interface (e.g., Graphical User Interface) >On-screen Workspace Or Object >Cursor >Proximity Detection

Inventors: Lucinio Santos-gomez

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20130042208, Cursor for enhanced interaction with user interface controls.

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BACKGROUND

Interaction with user interface (UI) separator widgets, like sashes or column separators, that control the size or space allocation of UI areas (panes, column widths) can require fine motor control of the mouse cursor. Separator controls and other UI controls (including buttons and hyperlinks that perform specific operations) that may also require fine motor control of the cursor can make it difficult for users to use the UI controls accurately.

Hot spots of the controls, or areas in the user interface in which a user is able to activate the controls, may be limited by the width/height of the particular UI control, which can sometimes be as small as a few pixels wide/high. Moving the mouse cursor at regular speed can result in missing the hot spot and often results in spending time re-tracing the position of the cursor to find the small hot spot.

SUMMARY

Embodiments of a method are described. In one embodiment, the system is a method for enhanced cursor interaction with a user interface (UI) control. The method includes: detecting a hover event by a cursor within a hot spot region of the UI control within a user interface, wherein the user interface is displayed on a display device; initiating a handle mode for the cursor in response to detecting the hover event; and extending the hot spot region beyond an initial boundary in response to initiating the handle mode. Other aspects and advantages of embodiments of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, illustrated by way of example of the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a schematic diagram of one embodiment of an enhanced user interface control system.

FIG. 2 depicts a schematic diagram of one embodiment of a user interface.

FIG. 3 depicts a schematic diagram of one embodiment of the user interface of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 depicts a schematic diagram of one embodiment of the user interface of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 depicts a flow chart diagram of one embodiment of a method for enhanced cursor interaction with a user interface control.

Throughout the description, similar reference numbers may be used to identify similar elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

It will be readily understood that the components of the embodiments as generally described herein and illustrated in the appended figures could be arranged and designed in a wide variety of different configurations. Thus, the following more detailed description of various embodiments, as represented in the figures, is not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure, but is merely representative of various embodiments. While the various aspects of the embodiments are presented in drawings, the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale unless specifically indicated.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by this detailed description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

Reference throughout this specification to features, advantages, or similar language does not imply that all of the features and advantages that may be realized with the present invention should be or are in any single embodiment of the invention. Rather, language referring to the features and advantages is understood to mean that a specific feature, advantage, or characteristic described in connection with an embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, discussions of the features and advantages, and similar language, throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, refer to the same embodiment.

Furthermore, the described features, advantages, and characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize, in light of the description herein, that the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific features or advantages of a particular embodiment. In other instances, additional features and advantages may be recognized in certain embodiments that may not be present in all embodiments of the invention.

Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the indicated embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, the phrases “in one embodiment,” “in an embodiment,” and similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, all refer to the same embodiment.

While many embodiments are described herein, at least some of the described embodiments present a system and method for enhanced cursor interaction with user interface (UI) controls. More specifically, the system implements a handle mode for a cursor in response to detecting a hover event for a UI control, and extends a hot spot region in which the UI control is usable while the cursor is in the handle mode. In some embodiments, the cursor is elastic, such that it stretches while the cursor is in handle mode to provide visual feedback to the user that the hot spot region in handle mode is extended. In some embodiments, the system exits the handle mode and restores the hot spot region to an original state when the cursor leaves the extended hot spot region.

In some conventional systems, small hot spot regions for certain UI controls or widgets that require fine motor control of the cursor in the user interface can make interacting with the UI controls or widgets difficult. In some instances, the hot spot regions can be as small as a few pixels vertically and/or horizontally on the user interface. Moving the cursor at regular speed can result in passing over the hot spot region, which may cause the user to spend additional time retracing the position of the cursor to find the small hot spot region. By implementing a handle mode that extends the original boundary of the hot spot region, the system and method improve user operability of UI controls by allowing users to more easily find and interact with the UI controls.

FIG. 1 depicts a schematic diagram of one embodiment of an enhanced cursor system 100. The depicted enhanced cursor system 100 includes various components, described in more detail below, that are capable of performing the functions and operations described herein. In one embodiment, at least some of the components of the enhanced cursor system 100 are implemented in a computer system. For example, the functionality of one or more components of the enhanced cursor system 100 may be implemented by computer program instructions stored on a computer memory device 102 and executed by a processing device 104 such as a CPU. The enhanced cursor system 100 may include other components, such as a disk storage drive 108, input/output devices 106, a user interface 110, and a driver 112. Some or all of the components of the enhanced cursor system 100 may be stored on a single computing device or on a network of computing devices, including a wireless communication network. The enhanced cursor system 100 may include more or fewer components or subsystems than those depicted herein. In some embodiments, the enhanced cursor system 100 may be used to implement the methods described herein as depicted in FIG. 5.

In one embodiment, the enhanced cursor system 100 includes a user interface 110. The user interface 110 may be any user interface 110 that is displayed on an output device 106 such as a display device for a given computing device. In some embodiments, the user interface 110 may be included in an operating system. The user interface 110 allows a user to interact with the computing device, including programs, files and other data. In one embodiment, the user interface 110 includes one or more UI controls 114. The UI control 114 may include any type of control that allows the user to interact with any part of the user interface 110. Some embodiments of UI controls 114 may include separator widgets—such as sashes or column separators—hyperlinks, buttons, or other interactive controls. These UI controls 114 may control size or space allocations of areas within the user interface 110, such as panes, column widths, and row widths. In some embodiments, the UI control 114 may perform additional or other operations within the operating system.



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Data processing: presentation processing of document
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20130042208 A1
Publish Date
02/14/2013
Document #
13206953
File Date
08/10/2011
USPTO Class
715862
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06F3/048
Drawings
6


User Interface
Cursor
Hot Spot


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